The procurement department wasn’t created to be a communicator, it was created to be objective, analyze data and make decisions.But failure to communicate, can result in poor morale within the department, mistrust among vendors and negative branding within the greater company. In order for procurement to improve their standing in the communication world they have three central areas where they can focus:
Start with your own department and create or evaluate your plan for communication. It’s important to take a look at the structure of your procurement department and identify who’s is currently responsible for communicating, who they interact with outside of the department and any gaps in the org chart. If you don’t have technology in place for this, you may want to check out the best options for your team to improve efficiency.
Forge open communication lines with vendors. The key to succeeding in vendor management is to openly share relevant information and your priorities with vendors. Vendor engagement is critical to improving competition, creating savings and strategizing. By improving your relationships with vendors you can unlock a critical knowledge base from experts in the field.
Establish a branding initiative to improve organization-wide reputation. Procurement often gets a bad (and underserved) rep. Whether cultural or structural it’s important identify how your department can change the way they are perceived by the rest of the organization. An internal branding initiative isn’t much different than an external one. So set your goal, identify your stakeholders and obstacles and choose technologies/communication channels that will allow you to best engage with your desired audience.
The bottom line when it comes to communication is be transparent. Ensure you’re communicating the good (accomplishments and savings) and the bad (failures and losses). If you establish open lines of communication and an honest dialogue you can improve your relationships with vendors, the greater company and within your procurement organization as well.